Industry leader: Meet Jerry Margolius
Every month, SAIV profiles some of our most established property valuers who have become leaders in the industry due to many years of experience. This month we are profiling Jerry Margolius, a professional valuer and the owner of Jerry L Margolius & Associates CC, to find out more about his 40 years’ experience valuing, starting a valuations business at age 21, the strange properties he has valued, and his advice to up-and-coming valuers.
What made you pursue a career in property valuations?
I started my career at 19 years old. I had completed the first estate agency examination in 1979 and had already started a career in property administration. The work at that time included representing landlords at the Rent Board and this included a valuation aspect. It encouraged me to pursue valuations. At the age of 21, I opened my business and completed my Diploma in Property Valuations (there was no degree in those days). I enjoy the legal side of property and studied arbitration some years later and finally completed a Masters during my 50’s.
Who do you think has had the biggest influence on your career today, and why?
My wife who puts up with my nonsense when I have difficult litigation cases and have to work long hours.
The strangest property you have ever been asked to value?
I always accept instructions on properties that require thinking “out of the box”. What probably comes to mind is the historical valuations dating back to the late 1800s, waste-dump site, mausoleum, railway tracks, an educational institution in a harbour and Table Mountain Cableway all come to mind.
What do you think is one of the worst, but perhaps most common, mistakes a property valuer can make?
Under quoting and producing poor quality reports.
Complete this sentence: Every property valuer needs…
… to know that one never knows where your valuation will end up and who is reading it.
Looking back on your career, what has been the biggest change you have noticed in property valuations in South Africa?
Changing legislation and the affect on valuations. For example the Constitution and Expropriation Act have produced many a challenge. Our law is changing continually and produces more challenges.
What risks do you see facing the property valuation industry today?
The quality of reports and the role of automated valuations (AVM). While it does have a place in the market, AVM’s are not properly read and impact especially the residential market. We need to have standards reviewed and while we endorse the IVS, there are various issues that are pertinent to South Africa that needs to be considered.
Any advice for young people looking to pursue a career in valuations?
It’s a long journey to obtain recognition. They must think out of the box as to where they could specialise and accept that you cannot be a master of all types of valuations. It is hard work but ultimately rewarding. The biggest problems one faces is mentoring as the market is rather limited and many valuers often seek the same work. But keep on learning everyday and stay abreast with the law.
Are there any specialised properties which you believe would be worthwhile for any valuer to develop specific skills in valuing?
Retail Malls, Agricultural Properties, Green Buildings